A group of young professionals in Anambra State have demanded that the All Progressives Congress (APC) should disqualify Senator Nnamdi (Andy) Uba as a possible flag bearer for the party in the forthcoming Anambra governorship election scheduled for November 2017.
In a statement released after a press conference in Abuja, the Anambra Young Professionals Forum (AYPF) warned the APC to disqualify Mr. Uba as a governorship candidate or “we will mobilize our youths for mass protest vote against APC in November.”
Mr. Uba, who last year defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to APC, has been campaigning to win the APC’s nomination to face incumbent Governor Willie Obiano in the November election. Other APC governorship aspirants include Chike Obidigbo, Bart Nwibe, Obinna Uzo, Tony Nwoye and George Muoghalu.
In its statement, AYPF said its members had “watched with silence and consternation, and likewise with total disbelief, the jamboree of days back where Senator Nnamdi Uba, representing Anambra South Senatorial Zone, mobilized 40 senators to accompany him to pick up the form to signify his intention to contest for the governorship of Anambra State under the platform of the APC.” Describing Mr. Uba’s action as a national shame, the young professionals said it was shocking “that we are today celebrating an individual who we as Anambra State Young Professionals see as the biggest stumbling block to the growth of Anambra youths. This is an individual who has nothing to show in Anambra for his eight years as the closest aide of President [Olusegun] Obasanjo, nothing to show to date for being a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and today he has cross carpeted from PDP, a party that ruined our beloved state, to become the supposed celebrated bride of APC, a party that has the opportunity to be the best solution for Anambra State for years to come. As far as we are concerned, Andy Uba should be a permanent guest with the EFCC and the DSS to tell us how somebody who was just a presidential aide and a serving senator has become one of the richest Nigerians today with investments running into billions of dollars.”
The young professionals of Anambra State origin asked: “What is the moral standing for any party to even consider Andy Uba as their candidate? What are those senators who accompanied him actually celebrating? Can all those people go home to their families and sleep peacefully at night believing their conscience true that this man they want to hoist on Anambra State will help the state or rather cripple the state for good? What value will Andy Uba ever add to Anambra today, when he could not add any value throughout the period he had the wherewithal to do same, or does he simply want to migrate from National Assembly to Government House to see if he can amass the remaining money accruable to the state to make him the richest man in Africa?”
In its statement, signed by Chukwudi Okongwu, the young professionals' group also drew attention to the “ongoing controversy surrounding Senator Andy Uba’s educational qualifications where he has been accused of falsifying his results and using same to fraudulently deceive INEC and the electorate.” AYPF further asked, “How can such an individual be parading himself as a likely candidate to represent a party that is trying to show us in the south east that they do not hate us but are ready to make things better for us? For starters, it is important for all stakeholders concerned to note that Senator Andy Uba will not win any votes in Anambra North and Anambra Central Senatorial zones if he emerges the ticket holder in the elections. He can manipulate the delegates with money (which I am sure he would have by now) and brainwash the party at the national level that he is a popular candidate, but the truth is he will lose woefully in these zones as stated. And what is our grouse? As youths, we cannot forget how Senator Uba and his brother Chris “Eselu” Uba used the instrument of state under PDP and the Presidency of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to kidnap our sitting Governor from Anambra Central and orchestrated the most humiliating scenario in the history of Nigeria where a duly elected chief executive of a state was treated like a nobody, and the whole state thrown into turmoil for the simple reason that these individuals wanted to divert our resources for themselves.”
According to the group, the attempt by the Uba brothers to hijack power in Anambra opened “the door for insecurity to creep into Anambra State, of which we are still battling with today. Not done, it is also this same Senator that used [the] instrument of power to frustrate a lot of development projects that would have gotten to Anambra North, when he was the closest man to President Obasanjo, instead all he did was frustrate the youths by helping fuel the communal clashes between Umuleri and Aguleri then, believing that with such a divide he would make the state ungovernable. This is the same individual the APC believes the youths will vote for?”
Mr. Okongwu said Anambra’s young professionals had decided to make their stand known “to APC and indeed any other political party that is serious of having a good outing in Anambra State during the governorship elections coming up in November. We have kept mute before now believing Senator Uba [would] come to his senses and back down, but now that he has shown he has no shame, we have decided it is also time to show we have shame.”
The group stated, “We want the national body of the APC to note that if Senator Andy Uba is given the ticket of the party for the governorship elections, we will not vote APC in the coming elections and we will guarantee that the party will fail woefully! They will share money, we will collect the money, but we will not vote for APC! We believe there are so many young, intelligent, vibrant & resourceful candidates in the party who should be encouraged to take the mantle of the party to the state, and we as young Anambra professionals will stand behind that candidate once his/her manifesto is people oriented. Anambra State has rejected Andy Uba since 2007, and nothing has changed. We will still reject Andy Uba even in 2023. He has nothing to offer Anambra State. It is time to put Andy Uba where he belongs, and that is to make sure he answers for all his past deeds and explains how he came about his wealth. To show that this is not just another aimless threat, we have also decided to show the party that all the young professionals from Anambra State mean business with this declaration. To this effect, we have fully mobilized all our youths from Anambra State to march in our thousands on Monday, 31st July 2017 to the National Headquarters of APC, to show our unanimous decision that we have rejected Andy Uba and if the party does not reject him, APC will not get a single vote in November 2017. This protest march will fully show our strength in number, our grassroots representation & outreach, and our determination to make sure that Anambra State is great again. This is our statement of intent. This is our stand for the good of our state and our youths.”
In a related development, a source within the APC has told SaharaReporters that one of the governorship aspirants, Mr. Nwibe, tongue-lashed Senator Uba at a meeting of the party held last week at the country home of former Governor Chris Ngige. Our source said that Mr. Uba had urged the APC to hand him the governorship ticket, boasting that he was the only one with the financial means and political weapons to beat incumbent Governor Obiano. Responding, Mr. Nwibe reportedly dismissed Senator Uba, telling him to his face that his wealth could not erase the fact that he has little education and lacks personal charisma. Mr. Nwibe, a businessman based in Port Harcourt, told Mr. Uba that a charismatic politician could get more mileage out of N100 than one billion naira in the hands of an uneducated politician.
However, Mr. Nwibe also has serious moral issues. A series of investigative reports by SaharaReporters detailed how Mr. Nwibe hijacked Smart Drilling Services (SDS) Limited, a company he co-founded with Ukpai Iro Ukpai. Our reports revealed how Mr. Nwibe used his cronies to push out Mr. Ukpai, the company’s co-founder and chief executive and then used the police to harass his victim.